Sunday, January 13, 2008

Stitching away in 2008

I have been terribly derelict in keeping up with this blog. The past few months just flew by - now that the holidays are over, it seems like a good time to take a deep breath and catch up on everything that has been untended during all the festivities.

I have been stitching like a madwoman lately. I complete my first piece using Vikki Clayton's Hand-Dyed Fibers this afternoon (while mourning the Colts loss to San Diego in the AFC playoffs. Here it is: Blackbird Designs - Loose Feathers: Their Song.

I did my own conversion to HDF from DMC (and wound up changing a couple of the colors after I received the order and saw them against the fabric). The fabric inspired me to do the project - the pattern calls for Apple Brown Bindy, but I had just purchased a piece of R&R Sea Fog and just loved the colors the pattern called for on this fabric. (The fabric is actually much more sage green (with a gold overdye) than the scan shows.

I was amazed how quickly this piece stitched up. I started it late Wednesday night after we returned from my oldest son's 16th birthday dinner. I had just received the silks in the mail that afternoon and couldn't wait to get started! After stitching like crazy (in between work, kid activities, laundry, cooking, cleaning - you know the drill) I finished this afternoon. Wow! Now, off to the framers

This little sampler was a nice diversion from my larger WIPs. I'll pull Cirque des Cercles (Ink Circles) back out and get that finished. I am so close to finishing that piece. I love the Rum Cherry on the Cappuccino Weeks (the lighter floss is Burnished Cranberry - all silks from HDF).

I have a bunch of projects kitted up but I'm in a "must finish a UFO before starting anything new" mood - so who know what will happen next.

Stitchy mail has been wonderful. I have been on a mini shopping spree in 2008 - makes that trip to the mail box all that more exciting. I only have one order outstanding - I took advantage of the sale at Elegant Stitch to order HOHRH and VOHRH. Now I just have to save up the money for the silks for that and the materials for Chatelaine Designs Taj Mahal Garden. Sigh.

On an entirely different note: my sister was visiting over the Christmas holiday and asked for a couple of recipes that were handed down from my mother. A local restaurant, the Plaza III, has a wonderful steak soup - the recipe has circulated around Kansas city forever. But it is so good (and so quick and easy) If my sister forgets the recipe (again), I'll just refer her here!

Plaza III Steak Soup

2 lbs ground beef - browned and drained
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables (green beans, carrots, peas) - thawed
1 package frozen baby lima beans - thawed
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup + flour
7 cups of water
7 beef bouillon cubes

Melt butter large pot and add 1/4 cup flour. Add additional flour until you have a good bubbly roux - not clumpy but not runny either. Stir constantly over medium heat until the roux takes on a nice dark golden brown. Quickly add the seven cups of water and the beef bouillon cubes. Stir until bouillon is dissolved. Add ground beef and simmer for 1/2 hour. Add vegetables and simmer for another twenty minutes or so until heated through.

Now, just serve with some fresh bread and butter and a green salad and you have a quick, tasty, hearty meal.

Off to feed the troops and catch the end of the Dallas/Giants game (go Giants).